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Excavation of an Early Medieval Settlement and Other Sites at Dromthacker, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Excavation of an Early Medieval Settlement and Other Sites at Dromthacker, Tralee, Co. Kerry

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"Excavation of an Early Medieval Settlement and Other Sites at Dromthacker, Tralee, Co. Kerry" by Rose M. Cleary of University College Cork appearing in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Vol. 108C, 2008
"Excavation of an Early Medieval Settlement and Other Sites at Dromthacker, Tralee, Co. Kerry" by Rose M. Cleary of University College Cork appearing in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Vol. 108C, 2008

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10/04/2013

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Abstract
Excavation of an early medieval settlement and othersites at Dromthacker, Tralee, Co. KerryR
OSE
M. C
LEARY
*
Department of Archaeology, University College Cork
[Accepted 2 November 2007. Published 4 June 2008.]
This report presents the results of excavations of a ringfort, an enclosure and two
fulachtaí fi a
(popularly known as
fulachta fi adh
)
.
Pre-enclosure settlement on theringfort site comprised an oval-shaped house dating to the early sixth–early sev-enth century period. An enclosing bank and ditch were subsequently constructedand two structures of late sixth–early seventh century were associated with theringfort phase. The ringfort ditch also appears to have become redundant and waspartly back-fi lled in antiquity. The surviving material culture was poor althoughthere was evidence for iron-working on the site. The enclosure was large andsurrounded by a deep ditch that was back-fi lled in antiquity, and the upper levelswere infi lled in modern times. There was no evidence for the date or function of the site and it may be early medieval or earlier in date. Modern features to thenorth included four lime-kilns of unusual morphology. Two spreads of burnt stonewere excavated and one site had the remains of a trough and is dated to the earlyBronze Age.Excavations
 
at Dromthacker, Tralee, Co. Kerry, were undertaken in 1997.
1
Thesite
2
is located at the north-eastern side of Tralee town on a gradually rising ridgebetween the Big River to the west and a tributary of the River Lee to the south (Fig.1) and consisted of 
c
. 60 acres of agricultural land. The development site includeda ringfort (RMP KE029-095) and an enclosure (RMP KE029-026, see Fig. 2a). Theringfort was recently altered and a complete excavation was undertaken at this siteto determine if any archaeological features remained
in situ
. The ringfort excavationuncovered evidence for pre-enclosure settlement, followed by the construction of an enclosing bank and ditch. The enclosure had no surface remains and excavation
Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy
Vol. 108C, 19–64 © 2008 Royal Irish Academy
Introduction
*
Author’s e-mail: rcleary@archaeology.ucc.iedoi: 10.3318/PRIAC.2008.108.19
1
The excavations were undertaken in advance of the development of a new campus for theInstitute of Technology, Tralee, Licence No. 97E0022.
2
Exact location: OS 6˝ scale sheet no. 29, Co. Kerry; Td. Dromthacker, Bar. Trughanacmy;National Grid Reference Q 154837. Ringfort RMP KE029-095; location: 34.1cm from eastmargin; 27.4cm from north margin. Site RMP KE029-226; location: 32.3cm from east margin;28.4cm from north margin. Fulacht fi adh no. 1 location: 23.7cm from east margin; 32.6cm fromnorth margin. Fulacht fi adh no. 2 location: 33cm from east margin; 24.8cm from north margin.
 
Rose M. Cleary
20
confi rmed that the site was an enclosure, although there was no indication as towhen it was constructed. A second ringfort (RMP KE029-094) was not intruded onby the development, and remains unexcavated. The development site also includ-ed two
fulachtaí a
and these sites were archaeologically examined. This reportpresents the results of the excavations to add to the corpus of published material onearly medieval settlement.
F
IG
. 1—Site location.
 
Excavation of an early medieval settlement and other sites
21
Previous informa-tion on the sites
F
IG
. 2a—Site location 25˝ scale OS map (surveyed 1899); b—Detail of lower section of 25˝ scale OS map (surveyed 1899) reproduced in Fig. 2a.
The ringforts are recorded on the fi rst edition 6˝ Ordnance Survey (OS) map (sur-veyed in 1841–2, see Fig. 2a) and on the 25˝ map (1899). The excavated ringfort(RMP KE029-095) is indicated as an oval-shaped enclosure where the surroundingeastern bank skirts a roadway and the remaining sections are indicated as part of fi eldboundaries (Fig. 2b). The north side of the enclosure (RMP KE029-026) was record-ed on the rst and second editions of the OS maps as a curved fi eld fence.
Fulachtaí a
were recorded by Michael Connolly, Kerry County Council, in the archaeological
ab

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